A MUM is suing the NHS for £200,000 after medics “failed to perform test to reveal her baby had Down’s Syndrome”.
Edyta Mordel, 33, says she asked for the prenatal checks to be carried out and was horrified after finding her newborn son had the genetic disorder.
Miss Mordel says she believed the test was carried out and that she’d received the all-clear, the Daily Mail reports.
But lawyers for the NHS suggest she declined the test at the time – possibly on the grounds that the tests come with a one in 50 chance of miscarriage.
Miss Mordel and her partner Lukasz Cieciura are now devoted to their son Aleksander, who is now four.
But she told the High Court in London she would have terminated the pregnancy had she known he had Down’s.
The case is legally termed as a “wrongful birth” – as the mother says she would have had an abortion if she had known of the condition.
Figures from 2017 revealed that the NHS Litigation Authority had paid £70million to parents in “wrongful birth” cases in five years.
Of this, £40million of damages were paid in 16 cases where parents had made similar claims about not being offered prenatal screenings that could have shown the child’s disability – equating to £2.5million per family.
I knew from the start that I would agree on the Down’s syndrome screening and I would not make any other decision
Miss Mordel, from Reading, is suing for compensation for the financial costs of caring for her son, and for how it has impacted on her ability to work.
She says when she went for her 12-week scan she thought the test had been carried out, and that she’d received the all-clear.
However, the test was never carried out – with the sonographer writing “Down’s screening declined” in her medical notes.
‘I ALWAYS WANTED THE SCREENING’
Miss Mordel, who is originally from Poland, told the High Court: “I was always sure about the decision and I always wanted it.
“I spoke with the midwife about Down’s syndrome screening. I had informed myself. I watched a lot of videos and read about screening.
“I knew from the start that I would agree on the Down’s syndrome screening and I would not make any other decision.”
Her barrister, Clodagh Bradley QC, said the screening would have shown the baby was at a high risk of Down’s and further tests would have confirmed the condition.
Her medical notes revealed she was “very upset and angry” after Alexsander’s diagnosis, after she gave birth at the Royal Bershire Hospital in January 2015.
Lawyer Michael de Navarro QC, acting for the NHS hospital trust, said it was “inconceivable” that the sonographer would made a note of this kind.
NHS guidelines mean it would have been considered harassment if she’d been asked again after refusing the first time round.
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Mr de Navarro added: “Miss Mordel must have realised she had not had the screening.
“Not only did her copy of the handheld notes contain the scan report saying that Down’s screening had been declined, but she must have realised that she had never had the result of screening which she had been told to expect.”
The hearing continues.
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